I was just watching a documentary on Alan Watts (by his son), and about half-way through there is a clip where Alan points out that the “great depression” in the United States in the early 1900s where men and women had plenty of work, food and housing one day, and the next there were long lines for soup kitchens, work suddenly dried up and many starved and were homeless. And that this was all based upon a mental fabrication of the illusory value of pieces of paper with particular patterns on them, i.e., “money.”
All the apple and orange trees and all of nature’s vast food resources were still there, as was the materials needed to build homes, such as wood, metal, cement, etc., just as they were the day before. The resources needed for human survival and flourishing had not gone anywhere. BUT the man-made (mind-made) story, “the overlay of economics,” suddenly claimed that the pieces of paper (“money”) were not worth what they were 24 hours previously, and so that was the collective experience and thus the “great depression” was imagined into being!!
In the movie, Alan puts the value/meaning of “money” in the same order of reality as the value/meaning of “inches.” Since the concept itself is made up out of thin air, so must any meaning we try to impose upon it.
It’s astounding when you see this.
p.s. Here’s a link to the 46 min. Watt’s video documentary: